5 Awesome DIY Concrete Projects

By Marica

My fingers have been itching quite some time to attempt some of the ingenious DIY projects I have found on Pinterest. I have to confess the only reason I have not yet tried any of the DIYs I have so painstakingly pinned is that I’m all thumbs… that and quite lazy. The concrete projects especially have piqued my interest – they usually look super sleek and contemporary, not to mention very impressive. I’m also hoping that hearing the words “DIY” and “concrete” in the same sentence will convince my brother, the civil engineer, to be my DIY minion for a day (translation: I’ll sit on a chair with a tall drink shouting directions while he does all the heavy labour).

Check out some of the awesome concrete DIY tutorials I have found thus far…

Mette from monsterscircus made these cool advent candle holders and small votives out of concrete. She used empty cool drink cans (that’s “soda” cans for our American friends) and water bottles as moulds. I love the glitzy paint-dipped effect, especially since metallics like gold and copper are currently trending – it adds a lovely rich and glamorous element to the concrete votives. Pop over to monstercircus for the step-by-step instructions: here.

Looks like a designer pendant lamp doesn’t it? You would have to fork over a bunch of cash if you spotted something similar in a retail space. Ben Uyeda of Homemade Modern only spent $9 (that’s about R 90) on this concrete pendant light that took him just 2 hours to create. With just a bit of ingenuity, you can make yourself an entire set of stylish concrete pendant lights with a single bag of concrete mix and some old plastic bottles. Want to try this DIY yourself? Check out Ben’s instructions: here.

Another SUPER awesome DIY project from Ben and the Homemade Modern team – concrete milking stools! Isn’t it absolutely adorable? Ben used an old 20 litre bucket (that’s 5 gallons for those not metric literate) as a mould for the concrete seats. These stools cost about $5 a pop to make! I think I’m definitely going to try these first! Check out the Homemade Modern website for the play-by-play: here.

Eilen Tein deconstructed some cardboard letters she bought to serve as moulds for her concrete letters. These look absolutely smashing as bookends or as quirky décor on a mantle or shelf! Visit Eilen’s website to see her concrete alphabet recipe: here.

I love this minimalist concrete clock found on the blog Hobby Design. The South Korean designer responsible for making this definitely has a way with concrete… unfortunately Google Translate can’t seem to successfully translate the instructions to English. The images are pretty clear though. Mmm, maybe I can get my friend who has spent some time in South Korea to translate it for me…

{So, what do you think of these Concrete DIYs? Thinking of trying some? I sure can’t wait!}

Décor Dictionary: Military Chest

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Military Chest(or Campaign Chest) is a sturdy chest of drawers most popular during the 18th and 19th century. The chest was specifically designed to be carried and used by officers on military campaigns. Typically, a military chest dismantles into two halves with removable feet and often has flush or hidden handles – all to ease mobility. A military chest is easily recognizable by its brass capped corners and the strap work between the drawers – originally added to strengthen and protect the edges of these pieces as they were moved.  

[Image Sources: 1, 2, 3]

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Coffee Tables: A Contemporary Take

Over the course of the past year, we have been lucky enough to be working on interior projects that have given us the opportunity of applying some trendy new industrial/rustic living décor and design elements. I have to admit that trying to source the industrial furniture elements has not always been that easy here in Cape Town. In fact, I would go so far as to say, that it is a great pity that the retail furniture outlets in town that cater for that type of style are so limited.

Thank heavens for Weylandts. Man oh man – they are a forward thinking décor company. We spent hours and hours during the course of these projects trawling their showrooms. During this time I was introduced to the concept of having multiple “side tables” (for want of a better description) of varying shapes and textured being put to use as “centre coffee tables”. Something like a round metal table mixed with a tribal wood stump table as well another smaller and taller side table. A cluster of tables so to speak.

The most appealing aspect of this styling method is the fact that it presents a less bulky and fixed look than the coffee table. And of course it is far more entertaining and playful for the eye of the beholder. Plus – the other added benefit is that these tables are more mobile – you can shift them around in that space to where they are most suited and functional.

I would encourage you to explore this concept of cluster tabling for your next coffee table purchase.  It will cost slightly more, but then it is not every day one steps out to purchase a coffee table. So make it good and make it work. Save a little longer and buy wisely. Far too often have I encountered oversized and bulky coffee tables that do nothing for the space and leave very little or no space for traffic flow around them. Far too often very little creative thought is given to this facet of home decorating – coffee tables frequently appear to be nothing more than an afterthought! And it need not be so. Using a collection of different tables gives you the opportunity to be expressive and creative. Just a by the way – although I have spoken of it in the context of the industrial and rustic styled house, this type of cluster tables is not limited to those styles and can be applied into any style.

I challenge you to get out there the next time you want to do coffee or side tabling and dare to be different. Explore the net and the retail showrooms. Research and spend some time thinking outta the box. It can really be very exciting.

Bedroom Makeover Without Breaking The Bank

Just recently I was asked for advice on how to give a bedroom a make-over without spending a fortune.

I thought to share these tips on the process with you.  Please notice that I did call it a process, because that is what design/décor is all about.  It can be a really fun and fulfilling process:

1GET THE PICTURE:  Let’s start by saying that you need to formulate a picture or image of what you want to achieve right from the start.  Spend a bit of time paging through décor mags, blogs and shops.  Let your imagination just run wild, because coming out of this first step, you will eventually get the colours, patterns and styles that settle well with you. If you are up for even more fun, then take all the images; put them together to make a mood board.  Even more fun is finding ribbons, buttons, bits and bobs that tell the story of your colours.  Mix them in with the images to give your mood board life.

2COLOUR:   Try to keep your basic colour palette of the room neutral – you will have plenty of time to throw in great big dollops of colour with the accessories. By the way- did you know that the trendsetters have indicated that WHITE IS THE NEW BLACK!!  “What!” you say – yes I have noticed it as well.  A big move to white walls and white furniture, but what makes it more appealing than before, is that into the white schemes, strong colour and texture is added.  The white is your blank canvas so to speak.

3ACCESSORIES:  Make sure that you have at least two items /accessories that are strong in texture and colour, such as scatters, wooden furniture –maybe a headboard, or wood framed easy chair, with a funky patterned scatter on it. Preferably a geometric pattern.

4BED: The Bed – needs layers of scatter cushions at the top and layers of bed throws at the foot. The mix of scatters should include different sizes; different fabrics /textures and different patterns.  It is the blend of colours that will tie them together. The Headboard – Check out the retails outlets that sell inexpensive buttoned headboards – they are still very much out there.

5GLAM:   A luxurious full length mirror or print with an ornate frame adds that decadent detail.  Definitely can have at least one seriously glam or decadent item, just for that hint of Hollywood.

6

MONEY:   Make sure that you have set yourself a budget and stick with it. This is one of the first things you should do as a budget will give you a guideline as to what you can and can’t afford. Remember to be realistic.

7GO SHOP:  Ok, now for the best part – you have the picture of what your room is going to look like, it is time to step out to source and select your wares, paint, wallpaper, fabrics etc. Take the time to shop around for the best buy – don’t settle for the first thing you see! More Fun!!

 ALWAYS HAVE FUN DOING YOUR DÉCOR.  CHEERS

Quick Tip #26: Old Doors As Chalkboards

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Can you believe this is Part Four of our little Décor Quick Tip series on awesome things to do with old reclaimed doors… and there is still a couple DIY door ideas left to explore!

#26  Why not combine two hot décor trends – repurpose an old found door by converting it into a quirky chalkboard! Shop for a character-filled salvaged door with interesting moulding, recessed panels,  or a frame with rustic textures like flaking paint. Decide on the area you want to paint with chalkboard paint – it can be the whole door or just the door insets. You can even paint the glass panes of an old French door – hang it on the wall horizontally… it makes for an excellent chalkboard day planner to organize your week! Also keep in mind that your chalkboard door does not necessarily have to be the traditional chalkboard black – chalkboard paint now comes in a multitude of funky colours… 

[Image sources: 12, 3]
 
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